2017 Legislative Updates


DAR Public Policy Update


April 26, 2017

HB 130:  Accommodations Tax:  Synopsis:  This bill makes the lodging tax apply to all hotels, motels, tourist homes, and short-term rentals. Short-term rentals are defined as being a room, dwelling, unit, or campground site being rented to overnight guests for a period of 120 days or less for any calendar year and the room or unit is not the owner’s permanent residence.

The DAR Public Policy Committee voted to oppose. 

HB 76:  Foreclosure Mediation:  Synopsis:  This Act extends the Office of Foreclosure Prevention and Automatic Residential Foreclosure Mediation Program an additional two years, from January 18, 2018 until January 18, 2020. The Office of Foreclosure Prevention and the Automatic Residential Foreclosure Mediation Program were originally scheduled to sunset on January 18, 2014, two years after their enactment. The sunset date was extended to January 18, 2018 (six years) in 2013 via 79 Del. Laws c. 27 (House Bill No. 40, as amended by Senate Amendment No. 1, 147th General Assembly).

The DAR Public Policy Committee voted to support.

HB 29:  Judgments:  Synopsis:  This bill establishes a writ of attachment of tax refunds and lottery winnings. This bill provides a procedure for interception of tax refunds and lottery winnings by the Department of Finance for judgments resulting from a breach of a residential or commercial rental agreement. This bill provides for the opportunity to contest the amount owed in regards to funds seized pursuant to a writ of attachment of tax refunds or lottery winnings. The bill directs the Department of Finance to work with the Courts to develop an electronic system relating to the collection of judgments through tax refunds and lottery winnings. The bill also directs the Courts and Department of Finance to work together and make a recommendation as to the amount of a special fee that is meant to offset the development, implementation and administration of the collection of judgments through tax refunds and lottery winnings. The Department and Finance are directed to provide a report to the General Assembly by January 10, 2018 regarding the costs of administrating this provision and an appropriate off-setting fee to be charged for issuance of the writ described herein. Sections 1 and 2 of the bill will not take effect until ongoing funds are provided to develop, implement and administer Sections 1 and 2, and until legislation is passed implementing the new fee.

The DAR Public Policy Committee voted to support.

HB 38:  Municipal Wells:  Synopsis:  This bill places the same requirements for the issuance of non-potable well permits within existing areas where a water utility has been granted a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity as those that currently apply to the issuance of a potable well permit.

The DAR Public Policy Committee voted to be neutral.

*NEW*: HB 144Synopsis:  This bill serves to better define and limit what real property rights the Department of Transportation may acquire. It also corrects a technical error that if left unchanged, will jeopardize the use of federal funds on transportation projects due to non-conformance with the National Environmental Policy Act and federal highway regulations.

Under review by DAR Legal Counsel.


DAR President Bruce Plummer and Andy Taylor, DAR Legal Counsel, recently attended a state task force meeting to address issues around the Realty Transfer Tax.  Watch the video.

 

Items in Governor Markell’s Proposed 2018 Budget that we’re watching:

  • Increase the state portion of the Real Estate Transfer Tax by 1 percent to 2.5 percent.

  • Take .25 percent from the county portion of the Real Estate Transfer Tax.

  • Eliminate itemized deductions and increase standard deduction by 50 percent.

 

 

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